Ban Xang Khong – The Paper Making And Silk Weaving Village In Luang Prabang, Laos
You can not miss having “Ban Xang Khong” on the list of places to visit during your trip to Laos. Xang Khong is a charming village located 5km east from the heart of Luang Prabang city and on the banks of the Mekong River, close to the Pak Ou caves. Ban Xang Khong is an ideal place for people who love handmade souvenirs, crafts and textiles. It is very famous for its traditional Sa paper making and weaving.
SA PAPER MAKING
The Sa is a kind of specific and unique paper in Laos. It is made of fresh flowers, leaves and bark of the mulberry tree. After 15 minutes of treatment, the fresh flower paintings will be dried. Then they are used as a material to produce lanterns, photo frames, postcards, book covers or bags for sale to tourists.
This type of paper can keep the natural color of the flowers and leaves for about 3 years without using any chemicals. Sa paper has hundreds of years of history in Laos and is a widespread article in the artisan shops in Laos. Sa paper is also known in Thailand, but 80 percent of the mulberry bark for making paper in Thailand comes from Laos. The three provinces of Laos: Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Xayaburi are the largest suppliers.
To this day local people still use simple and rudimental tools while making paper.
Beyond the paper making, in the village of Ban Xang Khong, local people also live by weaving and displaying silk scarves for sale in the Luang Prabang night market. Silk is also processed using traditional methods starting from the breeding of the worms. The artisans use wooden frames with bamboo supports for weaving.
Even the colors are natural and are extracted from plants flowers and berries depending on the use. The motifs of pashminas are varied and depending on the complexity also varies the time taken for processing and therefore their value.
If you want it is possible to participate in a design of the cotton or silk scarf.
It could say that this village is worth a visit, not only thanks to its famous trade, but also to the warm villagers. Indeed, you could be invited to their home, to taste their local alcohols and their other specialties as a guest. But it should be noted that their beverages are quite strong.